You're Viewing the Archives
Return to IVN's Frontpage

California youth plunging into immigration reform debate

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

According to a report from a Santa Barbara television station, the immigration debate is making its way onto a local UC campus, becoming a prominent concern with students seeking to hold President Obama accountable on the issue.

“[Immigration reform] is an urgency” said one student. “Families are getting separated, students are being barred from education [...],” said one high school student in the report.

Anticipating a nationwide rally taking place on Saturday (April 9), students all too excited about the movement held their immigration rally early.  Like many hip policies that contemporary youth tend to be involved with, students are classifying their involvement in the immigration reform effort as fitting under the category of a ‘social justice’ issue.

Being labeled as such, the immigration reform effort is bound to pour gasoline on the flames of Glenn Beck types, who view the notion of social justice as a push by the far left to adopt certain policies many conservatives feel will damage the nation.

The on-campus rally is not the first time students are voicing their concern about the matter.  According to the telecast, a small coalition actually spent their spring break to head to the massive DC immigration reform march held a few weeks ago. That particular rally, however, was overshadowed by the passionate push by the Tea Party rally against the newly passed healthcare legislation.

Like many on the side of a comprehensive immigration bill, these particular students seek an end to raids by immigration enforcement officials and view the current situation as not even being helpful to national security. 

Current policies in place to aid immigrants in the education process include the California legislated DREAM Act (AB 540), allowing non-citizens in-state tuition.  The same measure, however, prevents them from receiving financial aid.

Support for an immigration reform bill among the college-age demographic indicates a changing of the times when the sentiment toward illegal immigration is shifting.  According to a recent Los Angeles Times piece, support for the once popular Proposition 187 is shrinking. Whereas 60% of Californians voted for the original proposition in 1994, new polls cited in the Times indicate that support is evenly divided.

When it comes to the youth demographic, it was found that “those 18 to 29 opposed this proposal by more than a 20-point margin.”  This opposition among the Californian youth differed from the stance of those aged 65 and over by a whopping 30 point margin.

The immigration debate in the California education system is certainly not a new issue. It also is not a trickle up affair, going from students up to faculty.  Quite the contrary.

A few UC professors received fire for their using taxpayer money to develop a cell phone GPS phone application to aid immigrants in crossing the border into the United States.  And now, the Voice of San Diego is reporting that one of those professors is being investigated by his UC San Diego employer for his role in that project.

About the Author